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Helge Nornes, Arne Grip and Per Wikeby

✓ The use of a pulsed echo Doppler technique during surgery for cerebral arteriovenous malformation is described. The equipment and the methods employed are presented. The main advantages are easy determination of flow direction and pattern of the vasculature involved, allowing a precise discrimination between inflow and outflow channels. Deep-seated malformations, not visible at the brain surface, can be located with the Doppler technique. The ultrasound probe was placed on the brain surface with a slight pressure on the intact pia mater. The precise direction and depth of the malformation could be determined in relation to the recording site. This facilitated the planning of cortical incisions, identification of vessels involved, and the vascular procedure to be employed.

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Cerebral arterial blood flow and aneurysm surgery

Part 2: Induced hypotension and autoregulatory capacity

Helge Nornes, Hanna Berit Knutzen and Per Wikeby

✓ A study of 21 patients was conducted to clarify the autoregulatory capacity in patients subjected to induced hypotension during intracranial surgery for saccular aneurysms. Trimethaphan camsylate (Arfonad) was used for induced hypotension and arterial blood flow was measured with an electromagnetic flow probe on the internal carotid artery or one of its main intracranial branches. In Grade I and II patients the control arterial blood pressure (ABP) ranged from a mean of 90 to 135 mm Hg (average 110 mm Hg), with a lower level of autoregulation (LLAR) from 35 to 85 mm Hg (average 62 mm Hg). Grade III patients had a control ABP of between 105 and 145 mm Hg (average 124 mm Hg) and the LLAR was found to be between 60 and 95 mm Hg (average 76 mm Hg). There was a significant difference between the two groups with regard to both the control ABP and the LLAR. A surprising result obtained from these data was that the average lower autoregulatory range (the difference between control ABP and LLAR) is practically the same in the two groups. A systematic investigation of the upper limit of autoregulation was not possible for ethical reasons. In those few patients in whom spontaneous increase in the ABP made such observations possible, upper limits up to 150 mm Hg with a total autoregulatory capacity of about 75 mm Hg were observed. In some patients, however, lower limits and corresponding “breakthroughs” of cerebral blood flow were seen, demonstrating that the upper limit of autoregulation is markedly influenced by several factors.

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Rune Aaslid, Peter Huber and Helge Nornes

✓ The use of an ultrasonic transcranial Doppler technique for noninvasive evalution of cerebral vasospasm is described. Middle cerebral arteries (MCA's), classified as spastic on angiography, demonstrated blood-flow velocity between 120 and 230 cm/sec. The flow velocities in these arteries had a clear inverse relationship to the diameter as measured from angiograms in 38 patients with recent subarachnoid hemorrhage. This relationship in the proximal anterior cerebral artery (ACA) was found to be more complicated to assess, due to the collateral channels in the anterior part of the circle of Willis. The authors conclude, however, that the new method of measuring vasospasm will also detect spasm in the ACA if it has a hemodynamically significant effect upon flow resistance.

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Karl-Fredrik Lindegaard, Peter Grolimund, Rune Aaslid and Helge Nornes

✓Blood flow velocities in basal cerebral arteries were recorded noninvasively in 28 patients with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVM's) and were correlated with the angiographic findings. In normal arteries remote from the AVM, flow velocities ranged from 44 to 94 cm/sec (median 65 cm/sec) with pulsatility indexes from 0.65 to 1.10 (median 0.87). This is consistent with findings in normal individuals. Arteries feeding the AVM's were identified by the high flow velocities (ranging from 75 to 237 cm/sec, median 124 cm/sec). The pulsatility index ranged from 0.22 to 0.74 (median 0.48). The difference of these results from findings in normal remote arteries was highly significant (p < 0.001). Hyperventilation tests illustrated the hemodynamic difference between an AVM and normal cerebrovascular beds.

Flow velocity measurements permitted noninvasive diagnosis of AVM's in 26 of the 28 patients. Furthermore, the identification of individual feeding arteries permitted good definition of the anatomical localization of individual AVM's. Flow velocity measurements combined with computerized tomography scans are useful in the diagnosis of AVM's. With the feeding artery's configuration identified on angiography, flow velocity measurements permit a new insight into the “hemodynamic dimension” of an AVM and its possible effects on adjacent normal brain-tissue perfusion in the individual patient.

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Rolf W. Seiler, Peter Grolimund, Rune Aaslid, Peter Huber and Helge Nornes

✓ In 39 patients with a proven subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), the clinical status, the amount of subarachnoid blood on a computerized tomography scan obtained within 5 days after SAH, and the flow velocities (FV's) in both middle cerebral arteries (MCA's) measured by transcranial Doppler sonography were recorded daily and correlated. All patients had pathological FV's over 80 cm/sec between Day 4 and Day 10 after SAH. The side of the ruptured aneurysm showed higher FV's than did the unaffected side in cases of laterally localized aneurysms. Increase in FV preceded clinical manifestation of ischemia. A steep early increase of FV's portended severe ischemia and impending infarction. Maximum FV's in the range of 120 to 140 cm/sec were not critical and in no case led to brain infarction. Maximum FV's over 200 cm/sec were associated with a tendency for ischemia, but the patients may remain clinically asymptomatic. In cases of no or only a little blood in the basal cisterns, mean FV's in both MCA's increased only moderately whereas, with thick clots of subarachnoid blood, there was a steeper and higher increase of mean FV's.

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Karl-Fredrik Lindegaard, Søren Jacob Bakke, Peter Grolimund, Rune Aaslid, Peter Huber and Helge Nornes

✓ Noninvasive transcranial Doppler recordings were correlated to the angiographic findings in 77 patients with carotid artery disease. Stenoses reducing the luminal area of the internal carotid artery by 75% or more also reduced the pulsatility transmission index (PTI) of the ipsilateral middle cerebral artery (MCA). The PTI is the pulsatility index of the artery under study expressed as a percent of the pulsatility index of another intracranial artery with presumed unimpeded inflow in the same individual. For stenoses in the 75% to 89% category, PTI reduction was significantly greater in patients with bilateral carotid stenosis, indicating an impaired potential for collateral flow in these patients. The PTI reduction probably reflects both the pressure drop across the stenosis and the cerebral autoregulatory response. Two criteria proved useful in demonstrating collateral MCA supply through the circle of Willis. On the recipient side, retrograde flow in the proximal anterior cerebral artery was demonstrated in 29 of the 31 patients when this flow pattern was disclosed angiographically. In 26 of these patients, the anterior cerebral artery on the supplying side also had clearly increased flow velocity. Increased flow velocities in the proximal posterior cerebral artery were present in 26 of the 30 vessels that were acting as a collateral channel to the ipsilateral MCA.